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A vision for a transformed, world-leading industry

UK-based financial and related professional services

The UK is at a unique juncture, with an opportunity to shape the future of the financial and related professional services industry.

The world is changing at an unprecedented rate. New technologies are transforming the way we live, demographic trends are altering the shape of communities and the global balance of economic power is shifting towards faster growing markets. The industry must continually adapt and change to remain relevant.

Brexit has provided a catalyst for the UK to reconsider its future role and competitive positioning, with potential to recalibrate the focus of its trade and investment with the rest of the world. This takes place against a backdrop of increased global competition from established and emerging financial centres.

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Together with TheCityUK we have developed a 2025 vision for the UK identifying key recommendations for the industry drawing on extensive engagement with leaders across the industry using a rigorous fact-based assessment. These recommendations include specific, detailed actions that should be pursued, both in the short term as well as longer term suggestions. These recommendations should inform and align with the UK’s Industrial Strategy on which the Government is currently consulting.

We have identified three key pillars to this strategic vision:

By 2025, the industry will have transformed itself to be highly digitised, innovative and customer-centric. It should be a leader in cyber security, using data in a secure and sophisticated way, alongside new technologies, to drive significant improvements in the way services are delivered. Firms should consistently and relentlessly do what is right for customers.

London will remain one of the most important and attractive international centres for financial services and global business, retaining the full ecosystem of financial and related professional services. It will need to continue to play an important domestic role and be a leading FinTech centre that keeps the UK at the forefront of financial innovation.

Regional and national financial centres will have become more prominent within the UK industry. There must be a strong supply of local talent with relevant skills, competitive costs and high productivity. Banking, insurance and asset management centres outside of London should continue to develop, hosting more headquarters of major companies, while other regional and national hubs should focus on enhancing specialist roles which serve both UK and global markets. Implementing the strategy will require effective collaboration from industry, government and regulators.

Ten key attributes of this vision

1. Strategic partnership between government, the industry and regulators

There should be effective collaboration between different government departments, the industry and regulators in order to agree on priorities and actions.

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2. A trusted industry doing what is right for customers and clients

The industry must focus on doing what is right for clients while earning reasonable shareholder returns. All parts of the industry should consistently demonstrate ethical behaviour that sits at the heart of decision-making.

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3. Products and services should address key societal needs

The industry should provide customer-centric products and services that help address important societal needs. At the core of this is the provision of day-to-day financial services in a way that is secure, user-friendly, fast and cheap.

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4. Enhanced trade and investment with developed, emerging and niche markets

The industry should be better promoted abroad through improved collaboration between industry and government, including more effective consultation and engagement on appropriate international promotion activities.

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5. A leading FinTech and innovation centre

The UK’s FinTech sector can help drive the financial industry’s evolution, enabling transformation through technology. The way firms deliver products and services can be made more effective and efficient, while experiences and offerings for retail and business customers should be revolutionised.

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6. Access to deep pools of the best, diverse domestic and global talent

The UK should grow and develop the digital and entrepreneurial skills required by the industry. For example, mathematical programming skills can support machine learning and AI, developers and designers can transform user experiences, and technologists and engineers can deploy new systems using technologies such as blockchain and the Internet of Things. These new skills should be created through stronger partnerships between the industry and educational institutions.

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7. Internationally focused, strong and agile regulation

UK regulators and policymakers must continue to lead the development of an open and compatible global financial system. They can provide global leadership and promote consistent regulatory standards and approaches.

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8. A simplified, stable and internationally competitive tax regime

As with legal certainty, the tax regime must be stable, and become renowned for being so. This means that change would need to be managed very carefully, signposted on published roadmaps and introduced according to clear principles.

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9. World-leading digital and physical infrastructure

Government and industry should work together, with more effective use of public-private partnerships (PPPs), to provide world-class infrastructure throughout the UK.

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10. Internationally trusted legal system and rule of law

The UK should continue to offer a strong, clear and consistent system of law. This would include maintaining an independent judiciary and effective objective mechanisms for international commercial dispute resolution.

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